Getting a loan to buy a home will soon become more difficult.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), in its new guidelines released ten days ago, says that all home loan applicants will have to provide proof that the house they want to buy is earthquake proof. “Financial institutions will consider the compliance of seismic safety before offering housing loans,” the guidelines state.
N Vinod Chandra Menon, member, NDMA, told the Hindustan Times that the NDMA’s guidelines would come into effect from June 30. “The Disaster Management Act 2005 was enacted with approval from both Houses of Parliament. The provisions of the Act are binding on the government,” he said.
A policy decision to this effect could, however, take up to nine months. The finance ministry would have to take a policy decision followed by rules to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.
The finance ministry does not envisage any problems. PP Mitra, economic advisor in the finance ministry, said: “If there is such a recommendation it is definitely welcome. Even the Delhi High Court had said recently that banks while issuing housing loans must ensure that architects certify all properties.”
Banks and financial institutions are ready to enforce it too. Charudutta Deshpande, head of corporate communications, ICICI Bank, said: “We give loans against collateral and a requirement like this only strengthens our collateral.”